Sunday, August 31, 2014

Morning in the Pentlands

A beautiful morning run in the Pentlands today.  It was windy but the sun was out too, brining the landscape to life with the remains of summer.

It was a bit further than usual - a 6.5 mile circuit - but I took it easy and enjoyed the space.  Work is hard at the moment with the referendum less than 3 weeks away.  The work is hectic but the paranoid, angry divise atmosphere that has been kicked off is draining too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Stubai Alps 4 - The Stubaier Gletscher

Wednesday, the weather seemed a little better, although in the valley the cloud was keeping low.  As we went further up the valley towards the glacier, the clouds started to lift a little.

We took the lift up as far as we could get, but the top restaurant - the "Top of the Tyrol" - was closed and the lift to it was not operating.  We found ourselves in an interesting place though,  surrounded by spiky mountains draped in cloud.

There was not far to go however - higher up was still all covered in snow and there were people skiing on the glacier.  We did take a bit of a wander a long a short ridge where were were up above the lifts,

We took the lift back down and then the bus along to the Grawa Alm where we had a beer and a snack - sausage and pickles, after a short walk along the full river.

Above the alm was the Grawa Wasserfall and we walked over to get a closer look from the viewing platform from which you are able to soak in the mist and benefit - allegedly - from the ionised air.

A path took us up the side of the falls, as we headed for the Sulzenau Alm.  The weather was not looking great though and after Marian took a slip on the path we decided to head down.  We walked to the Tschangelair Alm which we had been told was very good for food, but on the way the heavens opened and we got soaked.  The alm was closed too, so we crossed the road and waited for the bus back to Neustift.

No big walks, but a good day out in some stunning hills.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Allermuir from the Castlelaw side

For a change I went up Allermuir from the Castlelaw Hillfort car park.  I passed a guy walking his dog and he was friendly as he wished me a nice run.

I walked the first mile or so as it was generally uphill then jogged to the foot of Allermuir and walked up.  At the top I used an app on the phone to take one of those 360 degree panoramas.

There was a good view up there this morning - especially to the north where lots of munros were visible.

The bridges were on display too:

Those two will soon be joined by a third.

I left the top and did a few sprints up hill to get a bit of a work out in and then jogged back to the car - nicely downhill for most of the way.

Just over 3 weeks to go.....

The Stubai Alps 3 - Innsbruck

So on the Tuesday it was still raining, as it had been when we had come down from the Slick 2000, the day before.  Instead of hanging around the village we decided to take a trip into Innsbruck, the city only about 25km away.  We got the bus in, picked up a tourist map from the station and then had a good wander round.

It was pretty touristy in the Old Town, but it was a nice city and compact.  Nothing exceptional, jsut the usual churches and galleries.

The Golden Roof is the big tourist draw in the city so we got the obligatory photos.

The other memorable bit was a Strudel Cafe that seemed to sell all sorts of strudels.  We had one each and really enjoyed it.  Then it was the Tram back to Fulpmes and the bus from there.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bannockburn and the Kelpies

With wild winds and showers, Saturday was a day for some indoor stuff...  We went to the new Bannockburn visitor centre which is very well put together - 3D displays and then a sort of war game where you work together to replay the battle.

Stirling Castle from Bannockburn

It was good that they gave a bit of the context - like the fact that Bruce was not a nice man nor universally popular, with his history with Comyn etc.

On the way back we visited the Kelpies again and had the proper tour which was well done, delivered by a girl that knew her script and delivered it like she had just left drama school.  It was wet and windy, but there things are still beautiful and impressive.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to Allermuir

You can't tell from the photo, but it was incredibly windy on the tops  this morning.  I parked at the bottom by the Steading, walked up to the ridge and then ran to Allermuir and back.  It was good.  Invigorating and refreshing.

The heather is turning purple.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Corbett Round by Manny Gorman - short review

I just wanted to get a quick "review" up of this book.  I can't remember where I saw this mentioned out in the world of Twitter, Facebook or blogs, but I was keen to get the book because I remember in 2009 following Manny's continuous Corbett round via his blog, which was inspiring and entertaining to read.....especially the comments.  The blog is still there and worth a read. Anyway the book of the run...
This was one that I read quickly, enjoying every page.  Manny has a great style - chatty but engaging as he takes you through the planning and then day by day through this athletic and logistical beast - a continuous run of the 219 Corbetts - all under his own steam: on foot or bike with a sailing boat to the islands.  Nights were spent in the campervan driven patiently by his partner.

I'm fairly familiar with the country he was covering and every day he describes was a monster - huge distances covered and described casually.  It is an inspiring and funny read - key words throughout would include beer and temper tantrums!  Hamish's Mountain Walk, this isn't!

Great stuff though and highly recommended - you can get the book through the website here: The Corbett Round   It will make you ache to be out running hills.

The Stubai Alps 2 - Hoher Burgstall (2611m)

Still trying to catch up on things with this blog, at least to get the holiday from the end of June on here although work is continuing to intervene.  Anyway, the Tuesday of the week in Neustift with Inghams, we took the bus to the Slick 2000 Lift from Fulpmes.

At the top you get a great panorama looking over to a sweep of mountains, all over 2500m - a long and complex ridge with peaks and towers all along.  We were back to trying to find comparators - Skye...Torridon etc - but these were just themselves, big rough hills yet also accessible and local.

We took a path towards the Sennjochhutte where we had a coffee and decided what to do.   Hoher Burgstall was the original idea....but it looked big and a long way away so I wasn't sure it was practical.  After a bit of to and fro we started up...

There were loads of alpine flowers and the walk was interruputed as Marian tried to get photos of each....

The path took a nice line under Niederer Burgstall.

We popped up onto a bealach where two old guys were cracking open some cans of larger.  In Scotland it might look a bit Trainspotting, but here it was just two old guys in the hills with beer.

A right turn quickly took us onto the 2436m top of Niederer Burgstall, and some fine views.

Looking back towards the higher hill, Hoher Burgstall, it didn't seem too bad now and the timings on the signposts were encouraging.

So, we took the path for the top, which went round behind the hill, splitting off from an alternative direct route that was still jammed with snow.

Nearer the top there were some cables fixed to the rock, but they were not really needed, just adding a little reassurance.

Just short of the top a signpost sent us up the few metres to the summit, passing the point where the direct route would pop up out of the snow - not a route for this weather.

Up on top there was a trio with a dog.  They were taking photos and we got them to take some of us.  It was a great place - it felt like a real summit - high up amid these brilliant peaks.

Then it was down, feeling satisfied and with a buzz of elation rumbling around inside.

It was good to look back at where we'd been.

Then it was the lift down, the weather closing in now and the rains finally coming in as we waited for the bus back to Neustift.

Hoher Burgstall is one of the Seven Summits of Stubai and it felt good to have ticked one of these off and experienced a great mountain day.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Pentlands again

Out for a nice run / walk in the Pentlands again.  The familiar Pentlands.  On the drive to the car park I was not feeling good - worried about work things, aware of how much needs to be done in the next few weeks - but as I spent an hour in these hills all that melted away, so that by the time I was driving home things were feeling better again.

It was a good morning - fine views nice temperature.  The cows were out on the path again, looking frisky, which forced a diversion, but that was OK.